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The Supreme Court has now voided their own precedent in Quill.

Finally, Amazon managed to prod the Supreme Court into overturning something I didn't think would go away.  But the impact of this on entrepreneurs is going to be, absent some sort of simplification legislation, horrible.

The fundamental problem is the outrageously-abusive acts of Amazon specifically.

History is in order here to understand both what prompted this decision and the events that have led to it.

Amazon began as an online bookseller. It had one nexus of operations and shipped books (shortly followed by other physical media such as CDs) from one central warehouse, using (mostly) the mail.  As the firm expanded it desired to open distribution centers to decrease its own operating costs (primarily shipping-related, as shipping is often distance-sensitive on price.)

This would have naturally exposed Amazon to collecting sales taxes per the Quill precedent.

So what Amazon did -- and which they maintain today -- was to set up captive firms to operate their distribution centers -- and then claimed they didn't have nexus.

The states got smart to this scheme quickly and started to sue -- and as they did, Amazon quietly folded.  But what Amazon never did was either pay back to the date of opening the center, nor were they ever prosecuted for criminal tax evasion.

Why not fight these states?  Because they knew they'd lose.  Their original gambit was neither original or a "stroke of genius" by Bezos; I had considered the exact same sort of structure in 1996 with MCSNet and was informed by our corporate counsel that the odds of success were tiny and the risk of a criminal indictment very real.  Needless to say, not being someone who could play a "Social Justice" get-out-of-jail-free card, I instead registered in Wisconsin (where we wanted to expand) and collected, filed and paid the sales taxes -- but Beelzebezos did not; he instead played (successfully) the "I'm God and you're a peon" game right up until it became evident he would lose at trial and then started collecting on Amazon-owned inventory but with no admission that he knew damn well it was a bull**** scheme in the first place, nor with any penalty applied to him or the firm.

You would think it would have stopped there, but no!  Amazon still maintained the same "no tax collected or remitted" policy with so-called "third party" sellers, which are now roughly half of all its transaction volume!

This despite the fact that Amazon is not a mere advertising conduit -- the firm handles the money and all post-transaction dispute resolution, which means they're actually responsible for somewhat more than half of the entire transaction stream itself.  Remember, a transaction has two components -- the good or service bought and the payment made.  Nexus is not defined as "physical product"; it is the real connection to the jurisdiction.  If you handle half the transaction as a firm with a presence you clearly have that connection.  But once again since Amazon has a never-get-prosecuted card they use with impunity, even when they sell magic potting soil for $200 that (quite-obviously) is a laundering transaction for something else (whether that "something else" is an illicit product or simply the illicit movement of money across national borders) and do not find themselves on the wrong end of a criminal indictment why would they worry about such a thing as sales taxes?

So, they didn't.

Now the Supremes have waded in and moved from a bright-line test which was more than good enough to hammer Beelzebezos with in the first place to a not-so-bright line on the other side.

Specifically, the South Dakota law in question does have a "reasonable connection" test embedded in it -- either $100,000 in sales or 200 or more transactions.  It is this "reasonable connection" test that likely made the ruling possible.  While the first of those is likely quite-reasonable the second may not be; 200 transactions in a year is not many at all for a low-priced item, and many e-commerce transactions are indeed for small amounts of money.

What this does do, however, is open a nice wedge for states like Illinois to take Beelzebezos out behind the woodshed and have a turn or three at him from the backside.  For those states with intractable revenue problems I fully expect that to begin in earnest immediately, and with good reason -- it's low-hanging fruit and now, with a brand new, freshly-minted Supreme Court decision at their backs they'll be after 'em Fast-n-Furious.

To which I say, Godspeed.  Yes, this will modify my view on such things on a forward basis.  Even Florida's sales tax laws have had a 100% inhibiting factor on my desire and willingness to offer any sort of physical product whatsoever.  You've never been able to buy a $10 "branded" Market Ticker coffee mug, for example, despite my operating this blog for more than 10 years because the very first such mug I sold in this state would expose me to permanent monthly sales tax reporting and Florida, like many other states, imposes a byzantine state and local tax agglomeration mess that makes such accurate reporting and remittance a five-alarm pain in the ass for anyone doing any sort of shipping of anything.  For a retailer with a store in one location it's tolerable as everything is at one rate and not all that bad; you can do the reporting and payment with reasonable accounting in 15 minutes a month.  Start sending things around inside the state and you get the mess immediately and that 15 minutes turns into hours.  For a few incidental sales of something like a coffee mug it simply isn't worth it as the compliance costs would exceed the revenue I could earn from same, making such an instant money loser.

When I ran MCSNet we used to give away such as premium items to customers (and at trade shows), along with selling them if you wanted to buy one, because we already did enough business, and had enough other state tax compliance costs, that the additional (and simple) reporting and payment requirements were a deminimus addition to our administrative overhead. Thus there were several iterations of MCSNet coffee mugs over my years of running the place.

Will this decision put a thumb on the scale for small-business?  Yep.  But it may also make possible the removal of Goliath's (Beelzebezos') boot from the scale that has screwed innumerable US-based sellers in favor of Chineesium garbage shippers, never mind the $200 bag-of-potting-soil sellers that are almost-certainly actually being paid for something else that is likely illegal at best and poisonous (e.g. fentanyl) at worst.

As the Supreme dissenters point out Congress could fix this, and fix it properly.  But Congress has declined for two decades as the screamfest from Beelzebezos, along with our present Administration's fixation on the price of stocks even if said "price" is achieved by buttraping small businesses across America, has led them to abdicate.

In short while I don't like the decision given the alternatives, that Goliath might get his foot chopped off as he has so richly deserved to have happen for the last two decades, leads me to crack a wry smile.

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2018-06-20 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 1696 references
[Comments enabled]  

The never Trump folks are utterly insane.

Twatter is full of these clowns.  Then again, the other side "whatever he does is fine" idiots are out in force too.

The US is disengaging from the UN's alleged "Human Rights" group.  May I remind you who is on that committee these days?

China -- routinely persecutes, dispossesses and even imprisons religious minorities.

Cuba -- Need we really go there?

Nigeria -- Have you stopped the 419 scams yet?

Rwanda -- You're kidding, right?  The most-recent genocide-committing nation is on the UNHCR?!

Saudi Arabia -- Have you stopped throwing gays off buildings yet?  Oh wait -- you just imprison or execute them, right? It's your other Muslim friends that toss them off buildings.

South Africa -- As long as you're black you have human rights.  Yeah, I know, the other side did it too.  That makes it ok to do it now.

Venezuela -- Are you serious?

Decrying the Trump administration for erecting the middle finger to this "group" is now considered "turning out the shining light of America."

Never mind the well-documented rapes that the UN's so-called "peacekeepers" have committed upon various populations over the years.  That fits right in with "human rights", yes?

This sort of rank stupidity, along with the frothing-mouth nonsense that has been engendered by the media over this and related issues (e.g. the very policy Hillary Clinton announced with regard to kids being used as human shields for illegals coming across the Mexican Border) has reached the point that frankly I'm shocked that there hasn't been a complete schism between groups in America.

May I remind you that such a schism is legal for either side to choose to engage in -- or both for that matter.

Starbucks wants to have its corporate mantra tied to political causes?  So does Bezos?  So does Google and others?

Well now, that could get rather messy and it's all perfectly legal as well.

Remember that liberals were allegedly all for American jobs -- right up until Trump started saying he was going to enforce fair trade principles against nations that screw their people so hard they commit suicide by jumping off buildings, and that if the corporations that profit from same get ****ed for sleeping with said prison-gang governments (cough-Apple-cough) that's just tough ****.

Then you have Mark Meadows who, along with Ted Cruz, are so outraged about families being separated at the border they've introduced legislation.

Where was the legislation when Obama was President?  Or Clinton?  Or Bush for that matter?  The much-passed-around photo of kids on social media is from Obama's time in office, not Trump's.  May I remind you that when you illegally cross a border you're not an asylum seeker -- you're a criminal?  And oh by the way, Congress passed that law originally -- so are you really trying to tell me that the DOJ should ignore laws Congress passes?

Does that include ignoring the law when our government sells guns to drug lords?  Because, you know, Eric Holder did that -- and it got a bunch of people, including children, killed.  If you're so outraged why is that ******* still walking around a free man?

Asylum seekers present themselves at a border and ask for asylum.

Criminals, on the other hand, commit their first crime in illegally entering said nation.

Why do they do this?  Because under International Law and long-standing principles of comity and respect for all nations if you're an asylum seeker you are supposed to present yourself at the first safe nation you reach and make your request.

For 99% of these people that would be Mexico, not the US.

But no!  Instead we have a criminal nation to our South called Mexico that has repeatedly, maliciously and feloniously aided, abetted and trafficked in these people despite allegedly claiming to be a "safe nation" with whom we should trade freely, never mind that they screw their people blind ($3/hour -- and no benefits -- to build cars, eh?)

Oh, and a very material percentage of said children coming illegally via this method into the US are not with their parents.

Do you want to know what happened to them previously?  We practiced "catch and release"; both kid and adult were let go, three to ten percent of them ever showed up for their hearings and most of the children disappeared entirely, never to be seen again or accounted for.

Want to know where they went?  Many were traded and sold into sexual slavery -- as children, since their usefulness as a "mule" to get around US immigration law had expired as soon as we let both them and the adult(s) go inside the US.

We have absolutely no idea where most of those kids who were "caught and released" with the adults they were with have gone -- or what has become of them. While I'm sure some of them are in loving homes it's an utter certainty some of them have been sold into sexual slavery or worse, yes, right here in the United States.  The people running illegals into this nation do not care about anything other than money and leveraging kids as weapons.

This is what the Democrats, Republicans in Congress and all those on Twitter screaming are actually demanding be allowed to be restarted and continue forever.

Let me be crystal clearThere are a bunch of *******s in this country who are demanding the continued systematic abuse of children as human shields and, when they're "used up" for their original intended purpose many of them are not reunited with families since those families are not in the USthey are instead trafficked and abused.

There is utterly no reason whatsoever for any legitimate asylum-seeker to not show up at a legitimate border crossing and make their claim.  Those people are not being arrested because they've committed no crime.  Some are denied entry at that specific moment in time but that's not a crime either, nor does it result in family separation.

It is the unlawful, criminal crossing into the United States that results in arrest and, when you're arrested you are separated from the others in your party, including if present, children.

Go rob a bank and tell me what happens -- you're separated from your children.

Go pull a carjacking and see what happens -- same deal.

Go run a couple kilos of heroin or fentanyl into the country, get caught, see what happens -- same deal.

Go stick up a liquor store and manage to get a whole $20 and see what happens -- same deal.

The difference here is that in this specific case these criminal invaders are intentionally taking children as human shields in a bid to evade arrest, prosecution and deportation.  They are not presenting themselves at a border and claiming asylum.

They are monsters exactly as is the bank robber who grabs a kid and holds him or her in front of them so the cops don't shoot him and everyone who supports this crap are also monsters.

This crap must be permanently stopped and those who support this sort of nonsense no matter whether they're Democrat, Republican, Trumpers or Never-Trumpers deserve to burn in Hell, which is exactly where they're going to end up because they, along with Ms. I-like-raped-kids Bush and Hillary I-never-met-an-intern-bill-couldn't-blow Clinton are in fact advocating for the continued abuse of children, including by human traffickers who use said kids to gain entry into the United States at which point many of them, along with the kids, just flat-out disappear.

Again, let me point out that only somewhere between 3 and 10% of these people, depending on who's stats you believe, show up for their hearings.  The other 90-97% disappear and cannot work at any legal job in the United States.  They all undertake criminal lives to be present and live in the United States as there is no legal way for them to obtain a job, place to live and means of transportation such as a driver license when they abscond from their "asylum" hearing; are you really insane enough to believe that the children with them, nearly none of whom have any sort of documentation proving they are related to the adults, are anything more than weapons to be used in their criminal pursuits?

Maybe it's time for a hard schism in America -- it appears there simply is no way to bridge differences any longer.  There is no "accommodation" to be reached with those who claim that abuse of kids as human shields is acceptable conduct or can be allowed to continue.

I don't give a flying **** what political affiliation you have, or whether you like Trump or not (and those who think I'm some sort of "ultra-conservative" or "trump-lover" ought to go read the last ten years of this column first) if you support the abuse of children for political purposes, and to be clear that's exactly what advocating for letting *******s who cross illegally into the nation using children as shields go free for one second amounts to, you are a ******ned monster and you have forfeited your humanity card, by your own hand and acts, long ago.

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2018-06-19 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 200 references
[Comments enabled]  

Oh my Ghod, this man claims a PhD in physics?

In the meantime, Curiosity’s latest discoveries underscore a remarkable reality. Mars, we believe, was once warm, wet, and possibly swarming with elemental life. Today, for various possible reasons, it is frightfully cold, dry, and seemingly lifeless.

At a time when we are arguing about climate change, therefore, NASA’s announcement reminds us that Earth’s warmth is a cosmic blessing – one of the critical fortunes that make it possible for us humans to exist and endure.

A Harvard professor eh?

Nobody who holds a degree from that school will ever work for me in the future as those degrees are now proved worthless.

Folks, we know exactly why Mars is cold, dry and apparently lifeless.

It does not have a molten ferrous core.

It therefore does not generate a magnetosphere,  which is the shield that keeps solar wind, a stream of highly-charged and energetic particles emitted by all stars, from slowly stripping off the atmosphere from the Earth.

Life is possible on Earth because the planet has a molten, ferrous core and our planet rotates.

That rotation in conjunction with the molten iron-bearing core generates the magnetosphere that makes possible life on this rock.  Without it it is an absolute certainty that the atmosphere would be stripped away over time and lost into the depths of space.  All celestial bodies have finite size and mass and absent a collision or other similar event (which is bad, by the way, for anything living on said body) whatever you start with when that body coalesces into existence is all there will be.

There is no mystery as to why Mars has no appreciable atmosphere.  The physics are quite-well understood.

Add this douche-nozzle to the list of alleged letter-spewers who is trying to shove a political agenda, in this case glo-bull warming, down your throat by intentionally making statements he knows are false.  He knows damn well why Mars has no atmosphere and is thus both cold, dry, and apparently lifeless and while you're at it screw Faux Snooz too who either has no editorial department willing to push back on this "opinion piece" or, even worse, they're embracing this act of abject and intentional deception.

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2018-06-18 13:55 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 296 references
[Comments enabled]  

The claim that this is all about people "fleeing violence" (domestic, terrorist, gang or otherwise) is a lie.

If that was the primary impetus for these people to "migrate" out of their native lands they would seek asylum at the first reasonable nation they entered -- which would be Mexico for most of them.

They don't do this because Mexico will not give them welfare and other public benefits, and in many cases won't let them in remain at all.

They come here to steal from the public, in short.

But let's assume for the sake of argument that this is not the case -- just for grins and giggles.

Then the question becomes one that's even more-important:

Do you want to accept into this nation people who refuse to fight for their country to remove from it narco-trafficking, gangs and other forms of severe, pervasive violence?

I don't and you shouldn't either because there are already parts of this nation where that sort of violence and outrageous conduct is pervasive -- like San Francisco, parts of Chicago and other cities.

Cut the crap folks -- the immigrants we want are the ones that are willing to take on such challenges and defeat them, and those people have no desire to "migrate" anywhere; they are proud of their homeland and willing to defend it at whatever cost may come.

Those who are not in this group are why these turd-world nations are turd-world in the first place.  They're unwilling to stand up for their own country and for peaceful and prosperous living conditions there.  They're unwilling to fight if necessary and defend their own homeland, which means they're also unwilling to fight for any other nation, including ours.

Those people are by definition the exact opposite of the sort of immigrant that our nation ought to accept.

Now let me tell you what sort of immigrant we should accept and welcome.  I know her, and there are many more like her.  She came here as a child.  She went through the legal process to become a permanent resident -- an arduous process.  She never took a nickel of public assistance.  She studied, made good grades, and ultimately went to college on her own dime.

She applied to be naturalized, which involved multiple years of effort, including learning our Constitution, Bill of Rights, speaking English fluently, paying her taxes in full and submitting proof of same to the INS and proving that she had not become at any point a "public charge."  The examination of all of this was exhaustive, time-consuming and difficult, with utterly no guarantee of success.  Had she cheated, lied or gotten in trouble with the law at any point she would have been turned down and had to leave.

Following all of this, she was sworn in as a citizen.  I was proud to attend her naturalization ceremony, at her invitation.  It was one of the most-moving things I've ever experienced as an adult.

But she wasn't done on that day.

Almost-immediately following all of that she voluntarily joined the military which, as I'm sure you're aware pays far less than the private sector, and now provides medical services to our fighting men and women while wearing our uniform, being both willing and able to defend this nation against any who would attack it -- whether from inside or out should the need arise even though by doing so she intentionally diminished the amount of money she could earn for her own use.

These turd-world "migrants" want only one thing: Our money.  They're lazy and unwilling to bear personal risk to defend their own nation.  They sacrifice nothing and demand everything from others.

They are the exact opposite of those who we should welcome into America.

Every one of those turd-world citizens ought to be sent home, turned back at the border and told to fix their own damn country.  At best we should offer them a rifle and box of ammunition with which to do so -- but never, ever, until they do so should we even contemplate allowing them or any of their progeny in.  They're cowards to an individual and seek only the easy way forward, not the difficult (and dangerous) work of fixing that which they allowed to be broken in their own nation of birth, and in addition they brought more children into the very country they knew was a broken, violent land and yet are unwilling to fix.

You let those people in this country -- any of them -- and the gang-ridden, violent crap going on in cities around the nation today, including places like San Francisco (remember, a "sanctuary city") where illegal invaders shoot citizens with impunity, will expand and engulf this nation -- and when it does it will be your responsibility along with every single one of the politicians urging same.

Period.

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2018-06-17 12:54 by Karl Denninger
in Editorial , 907 references
[Comments enabled]  

If you don't think this is a serious problem worthy of instant incarceration or even trial, conviction and execution you're a special brand of stupid.

Even more seriously, text messages between Strzok and Page pertaining to the Russia investigation, particularly a text message from Strzok on August 8 stating “No. No he’s not. We’ll stop it.” in response to a Page text “[Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!,” are not only indicative of a biased state of mind but imply a willingness to take official action to impact a presidential candidate’s electoral prospects. This is antithetical to the core values of the FBI and the Department of Justice.

Imply?

That's a raw statement of fact and one must assume to the extent of their ability it was followed through upon.

Now let me point out that all actions of the FBI are backed up with guns (that is, force), as is the case for any law enforcement agency.  Even the basic traffic stop is backed up with guns.  Refuse to stop and watch how fast they come out and are used on you.

Further, there is a specific law involved here: 18 USC Sec 2384:

If two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof, they shall each be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both.

An election is not governed by one or more laws?  Like Hell it's not.

That's 20 years in the slammer for both of these clowns -- and yet not one peep has been heard about an indictment.

Why not?

Because there are no men left in this country, and on Father's Day I'll be more-specific: There are no young men left either, or at least too damn few to matter.

This didn't happen overnight.

Before this outrage there were many others and exactly none of them generated a single instance of a even 1/4 of 1% of the American population showing up in DC to demand indictments, prosecutions and imprisonment, backed by an "or else" (or even un-backed by same!)

  • The IRS and DOJ intentionally targeting conservative groups during Obama's Presidency.

  • Obama's Attorney General knowingly running guns to Mexican Drug Gangs, some of which were then used to shoot at and kill an American Border Patrol agent (while most of the rest were used to shoot and kill Mexicans -- in Mexico!)

  • Ruby Ridge and Waco.  May I remind you that Weaver's wife was shot and killed while holding their child, obviously unarmed and of no threat to anyone at that moment in time?

  • Decades of refusal to enforce long-standing (100+ years) anti-trust laws against Amazon.

  • Decades of refusal to enforce long-standing (100+ years) anti-trust laws against any portion of the medical and pharmaceutical industry.  May I remind you that both have grown massively in size specifically due to these practices? The effective tax rate on the second $25,000 of income for a single person in most states today exceeds 80% as a direct result of this.  If you're wondering why you can't get ahead this, along with the student loan scam, are the reason -- you're literally robbed blind and financially raped at gunpoint out of virtually all of your second $25,000 of earnings a year!  If your innate earnings power is around $50,000 annually, which is enough to be reasonable prosperous, you are instead rendered destitute because roughly half of that is stolen outright.
     
  • Decades of intentional collusion, blatantly illegal under US anti-trust law, by OPEC, which obtained specific Congressional exemption in 1976 under FSIA (the same act that made impossible suing Saudi Arabia for 9/11 until terrorism was exempted!)  Oh by the way, lest you think I'm some sort of anti-Democrat guy here may I point out that in 2007, when Bush was President, he threatened to veto a bill that would have removed OPEC from said protection and the bill was killed before ever being passed by what was, at the time, a Republican Congress.

  • complete refusal to prosecute anyone for the 2008 crash despite it being rooted in out-and-out fraud on so many levels and at such a degree that the robbery reached into the trillions.  Never mind that our at-the-time Treasury Secretary (Hank Paulson) was a chief architect of said fraud and he had the balls to demand a blank check drawn on the taxpayer to rescue anyone he chose.  He got only a minor set of restrictions but what he didn't get -- and roundly deserved -- was prison time.  It didn't stop in 2008 either; Wells Fargo has subsequently been caught many times ripping off consumers in the years since and yet not one indictment has issued.

There's much more but let's face reality here -- it is only through the decades-long refusal of the American people, specifically young men, to rise up and demand that the Rule of Law be enforced that this crap continues to occur and in fact has escalated.

Western Rifle Shooters recently put up on their masthead the following:

You now have been instructed on the rules of engagement. At the local, state, and Federal levels, the executive, legislative, and judicial branches will do as they wish – with little or no penalty. You and your people should act consistently at all times with this reality.

It took them this long to figure it out?

I've been writing on the loss of the Rule of Law pretty much since I began this column.  Indeed one of the first articles was on Washington Mutual (which collapsed a bit over a year later) paying cash dividends with promises to pay tomorrow instead of actual cash earnings.  They were one of the many architects of the housing collapse who among other firms were flagged by appraisers years prior (which went nowhere either despite an open letter and petition to do so being sent to Congress and regulators) and once again, zero prosecutions ensued.

Then there's IndyMac which got caught back-dating deposits so as to avoid violating capital requirements which would have led to mandatory enforcement action (and that would have trashed the firm.)  They did so with the express assistance of a man in the government regulatory apparatus who did the same thing with an S&L in the 1980s and not only wasn't prosecuted for that rank act of lawlessness he kept his job and got to do it again, and again wasn't prosecuted.  IndyMac collapsed.

I've reported on all of this.

Not one prosecution, not one indictment and the only protest I've seen was ours and FedUpUSA's in the contemporary time frame that managed to draw a couple of dozen people in DC.

This despite, at the time, a monthly circulation for this column that was north of 100,000.  Last month's figure, by the way, is 128,621 unique people, down materially from the date of the crash (duh!) but still an utterly insane number of individuals who have read this column daily or weekly and yet there has been nothing productive done to stop any of it.

Why did I zero in on "young people", and specifically young men?

Simple: Revolution is an act for the young, whether via peaceful and political means or otherwise.

Why?

Because if the young people, especially young men who will become fathers or just have done so, don't give a flying **** about the future of the nation and their children, either born or to-be-conceived, then why should us older bastards get off our ass and take risk -- up to and including getting shot?

**** that boys; if you don't give a **** about your progeny, never mind your own remaining time which is far longer than mine you can go right ahead and eat the consequences of your pajama-boy behavior!

I'm not swallowing a grenade, either professionally, financially or physically for a bunch of people who don't give a damn.

For those of you, yes Covfefe you, among millions of others who think "Trump" is the answer, well where are the damned indictments?  500+ days into the administration and yet we have not seen one prosecution.  But what we have seen is several of Trump's campaign advisers and cohorts indicted and indeed Manafort was just sent back to jail pending trial for alleged witness tampering!

May I remind you that the White House just yesterday said it was "open" to signing a bill to give amnesty to close to 2 million illegal invaders?  May I further remind you that the so-called "trade enforcement" Rump has put forward thus far specifically ignores the value stolen by the Chinese over the last three decades plus and in fact the White House recently acted specifically to save Chinese jobs, not American ones, after a Chinese company (ZTE) was caught multiple times intentionally evading US sanctions -- and their actions demonstrated both malice and intentional concealment!  Indeed the best thing we could see for the civilian users of such technology is if ZTE collapsed (along with Huawei) and American companies had an opportunity to step in and produce the inexpensive cellphones that they used to make.

What could the Chinese do about it if we told them to pound sand and blocked all incoming Chinese goods-laden ships?  Shoot us?  With what?  Nuke us? Yeah, sure, preemptively? Uh huh, sure they would; Beijing would be incinerated in seconds if they tried that and they know it.  Conventionally attack?  There's a wee problem with that called an ocean in the way.  They couldn't get enough people here to matter and we have a lot of guns in civilian hands.  "Behind every blade of grass is a rifle", as the Japanese said not that long ago.  Never mind the fact that should we embargo them on a trade and currency basis their entire nation would go*****-up within a week.  Oh, and we could start action, and show we mean it, that with all the so-called "money cards" that Spamazon and WalMart allow to be funded and reloaded without a single shred of anti-money-laundering constraint and which can be cashed on the other side of our border anywhere, never mind the $200+ bags of "premium potting soil" sold on said sites that are probably in truth payment for illegally-run fentanyl which has its original source in China.

Indeed isn't it nice how our "large corporations" make possible (at a big discount, which they keep) the funding and shipment of such poisons and the slaughter of some 60,000 Americans a year -- by our "friends" in both Mexico and China?

Never mind that statistically-speaking all of the jobs created since 2009 pay under $20/hour.  I report on this monthly; the "gains" have all come from people with less than a high school diploma in educational attainment. That's looking at you, kid, yet the "Trump Train" folks are all over Twatter claiming we have a "roaring" economy.  We do, if you're one of the 0.1% that have made bank robbing everyone else while grinding people into the dirt with "jobs" that all amount to pulling coffees at Starbucks!  For those of median capability in employment skills or below on the other hand we have a record homeless and drug problem, never mind the suicides.  Yet you don't think that a one-bedroom apartment, to be affordable to rent, requires more than said "all new jobs in the last 10 years" hourly wage in every city of the country might have something to do with that?

But no!  We can't do anything real with our Chinese "overlords", right?  Oh, may I remind you as well that targeting tariffs politically to damage a voting block (which the Chinese, Europeans and even Canadians have recently said they intend) is flat-out unlawful under International Law and the proper response to such an act is an immediate bonfire with their Treasury Holdings on the South Lawn along with a 100% embargo on all goods from any nation that pulls such crap.  If the Rule of Law doesn't apply to them who gives a damn if we adhere to anything related to same?

May I "politely" inquire as the value of the W-88 warhead design that China stole from the US and why we don't simply deduct that from their Treasury Bills outstanding, discounted back to the time of the theft with an appropriate (at their rate of interest!) compounded penalty?  That's just a start, of course.

So on this Father's Day may I ask: Are there any young men left in this nation who give a **** about our country, its future and their children, either born or yet-to-be-conceived? 

If there are, where the Hell are you when it comes to the Rule of Law and why aren't you taking effective action right now?  I remind you that just a few percent of the population who declared a general strike and descended on DC demanding political heads on platters would totally screw the best-laid plans of those brigands on the Potomac and force their hand -- especially right now, with an election coming in a few months.

If such young men no longer exist, which the evidence strongly suggests is the case, then this old fart is going to enjoy whatever "good times" are left (which is measured in months or single-digit years folks, not decades) and when the **** hits the fan he's going to defend only himself and his immediate family until his resources, including his life, are spent.  This much I assure you -- he is not going to fight in place of you when you simply don't give a damn; you would rather play "Grand Theft Auto" on your fabulous Chineesium-made toys then get off your ass or do other than whine on social media and parade about how "wonderful" Trump (or how "awful") he is.  Never mind that if said old fart won the day for you and in your stead he'd be spat upon rather than thanked -- exactly as many did after sending a bunch of kids to Vietnam who went, despite their feelings on the matter, fought, were maimed, sprayed with toxins and generally abused and then came home to be spat on and shunned when all your "heroes" of today either ran away to Canada or talked **** about America on VC radio and were rewarded for that act of treason with a Senate seat.

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